Contact Valerie Esposito, Program Director
Phone: (802) 383-6674
Most people will express concern about the environment, but only a handful of people will devote their lives to making sure it's protected. One of the only degree programs of its kind in the country, the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies & Policy gives you the knowledge and skills to join the growing group of environmental professionals who are agents of change tackling the multi-dimensional problems that affect the world we live in. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2024, careers for environmental specialists will grow 11% , faster than average for all occupations.
Unlike a typical program in environmental studies or environmental science, the Environmental Studies & Policy major is focused less on theoretical aspects and more on the action-oriented practicalities of what you can do to envision bold solutions and change things for the better.
This major zeros in on the frontline tools, human behavior, policies, politics, initiatives and innovations surrounding environmental issues. You learn about systems thinking, the management of resources and waste and new approaches to sustainability. You also become skilled at interpreting statistics and science, communication and influencing decision-making, in the public and private sectors, to help protect the biosphere.
Champlain College partners with local organizations to work on real-world environmental issues. Extensive field visits to high-tech local operations, like the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, will give you insights into the bigger picture and on-the-ground realities. There's also plenty of fieldwork if you're interested in the policy side: students take trips to the Vermont State House to learn about lobbying and getting bills passed, sit in on committee meetings and talk with legislators. You also may explore field-based learning through Champlain's community garden and apiary. Recent service learning projects have included constructing a greenhouse using recycled plastic bottles, exploring the possibility of Champlain becoming a conflict-free mineral campus, green investing and raising awareness about water quality for the Lake Champlain Basin Program.
In addition to being outstanding educators, our faculty are working professionals with insider perspectives—including environmental lawyers, policy analysts, natural resource specialists, food policy experts and environmental scientists— and they bring real-world experience and cutting-edge concepts into the classroom. Thanks to our small class sizes, our Environmental Studies & Policy professors are able to focus on you and your goals, and will help you meet them. Meet our faculty.
Take advantage of the unique learning opportunities offered in Vermont, one of the most environmentally progressive states in the country. Vermont is a leader in food systems reform, and is developing practical solutions to energy efficiency, renewable energy, agriculture, and land and water use.
Gain valuable experience through involvement with Sustain Champlain, a committed group of students, faculty and staff with a mission to build campus awareness of sustainability and develop innovative approaches for practices that make effective use and reuse of our resources. Champlain has won numerous awards for being on the cutting-edge of sound environmental practices in higher education. In fact, the College earned designation as a Fair Trade Campus in 2014 and received a Silver rating for sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in 2016. Champlain was also featured in The Princeton Review's 2015 and 2016 "Guide to Green Colleges." Champlain also has one of the smallest carbon footprints per capita out of the colleges located in the northern United States. In fact, our City of Burlington, Vermont was recently named the first U.S. city to run 100% on sustainable energy.
Explore environmental issues in the context of globalization and learn from policies and initiatives in other countries. Study topics, like Urban Agriculture, at Champlain's international campuses in Montreal, Canada, or Dublin, Ireland. Or study with one of our third-party providers. Our students have studied all over the world including Australia, Nepal, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Peru, Bhutan, New Zealand and Bolivia. Explore our study abroad options.
Champlain's location in Burlington will give you great opportunities for hands-on work through the many businesses, organizations and nonprofits that are on the cutting edge of sustainability. Recent local internship sites for the program have included environmental lobbying firms, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, the Vermont Caribbean Institute, the Nature Conservancy, the Peace & Justice Center, VPIRG, Full Moon Organic Farm, 350 VT, and the City of Burlington's Sustainability Office. Read more about our recent internship sites.
By graduation, you'll be ready to excel in such varied workplaces as conservation advocacy organizations, higher education, businesses, environmental consulting firms, government agencies, nonprofits and public utilities. Or you may choose to attend graduate school. Champlain has an agreement with Vermont Law School, the country's premier school for environmental law, which facilitates admission for Champlain students who meet certain criteria. Learn more about our graduates' career success.